A few months ago, I was approached by two fourth grade learners who wanted to create a digital school newsletter. They had carefully prepared their proposal and even gave me a sketch of what the newsletter could look like. I approached their request through questioning. How many learners will you need to help you? How will you select them? What are the characteristics needed for team members? What are your ideas for publishing? These two learners successfully created applications, advertised on the morning broadcast, evaluated applications, and selected their members with a criteria rubric they developed. I facilitated their work by asking questions and giving feedback.
Our first brainstorming meeting overflowed with their ideas and we selected final topic and assigned teams to work on different components. We made a knows and need to know chart to determine what workshops I would teach at the next meeting to get everyone started. I posted workshop resources online on the Google site we created for for the news team.
This group has worked so diligently. They have collaborated online, created share documents using Google apps, and even had meetings on the weekends at the local library. Here are some comments from conversations today:
Using Google apps is more efficient for us to finish typing this interview. We are both working at the same time on the same document.
Writing this article and knowing it is going to be published, makes me want to make it perfect!
Why did you type that in Word? How are you going to share it with the team?
It feels good to accomplish so much!
I really like interviewing teachers. I like knowing more about them.
I didn’t need all the workshops, but I watched all the online lessons anyway.
Some members are not contributing and need to be warned or suspended from the team.
I want to make sure I am always listening to my learners…their requests, their questions, their conversations. I learn so much from them. I am looking forward to the creation of the first publication!
Today was just another reminder of the remarkable people I work with daily. Community volunteers (from Verizon, Real School Gardens, Lowe’s in Lewisville), parents, VRE Dad’s Club, learners, and educators made a dream come true today. This will be an exceptional learning space for all the learners at VRE for years to come!
Check out the photosteam - VRE Garden of the Stars!
CHANGE – 2012 was definitely a year of change for me. There are so many wonderful events that occurred this year it is simply humbling. I am so very blessed to have a supportive family. I completed all of my doctoral coursework and now I am ABD (all but dissertation). I will spend the next several months writing and hopefully finish this summer or fall. I have learned a great deal through my doctoral journey that has helped me professionally.
There comes a time in your career when it is time to move on to the next level. I had a desire to truly make a difference and be a part of something great! Something different! Something innovative and forward thinking! The opportunity to be an assistant principal at an elementary campus that teaches through the lens of project based learning has exceeded my expectations. To be a part of an innovative school district was the change I needed. My district is a part of the High Performance Schools Consortium and vision for transformation is underway. I cannot think of a more exciting time to be in the field of education. My job is challenging, demanding and rewarding beyond measure. I work with remarkable educators who share my passion for education. I thank God for putting me in a better place where I truly have the opportunity to grow as an instructional leader.
I also started educational consulting this year! I consider it a privilege to teach aspiring administrators. This has grown my PLN tremendously and learn so much from them. I have worked with cohorts in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. There is so much talent in the Lone Star State!
Best wishes for 2013!
The 3rd-5th grade learners at VRE are working hard to qualify for the team this year. I am so excited to be coaching!
Today’s learning experience at the Fort Worth Zoo was more than just a field trip, it was a true learning experience for first graders. Learners worked in collaborative teams at the zoo to research a animal. This is all a part of their current PBL. Each team had a different animal, and once they found the needed information they were free to explore the zoo and make other connections. Learning was evident as learners could discuss in depth about their animal. I look forward to the student products.